Passion and energy fuel Gary’s pursuit of perfection in design. With his innate ability to communicate a vision for projects, Gary convinces others to join him as he reaches well beyond the anticipated to produce consistently exceptional work. The trust he engenders in the extended team is built on a thorough understanding of good design. At Gary Lee Partners, Design 101 begins with a sense of how the environment will function for the client’s business, with how the space will feel, and with planning that considers rhythm and volume before style.
If the process is the foundation for the work, it is Gary’s mastery of detail that allows him to deliver a signature sensibility across a wide range of design projects. A rich portfolio of memorable spaces and evocative details have earned Gary accolades and awards that include the prestigious Interiors Designer of the Year and membership in the highly selective Interior Design Hall of Fame. He is equally respected by the clients who often return with multiple assignments and by a loyal team of collaborators who have worked closely with him for years.
Though many claim that Gary is a natural designer, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on Interior and Graphic Design at the University of Michigan School of Architecture and Design. “The strength of the work — our legacy — is that we see the smallest detail as representative of the entire project. And we keep working until it is a seamless, elegant whole.''
As the firm’s Design Principal, David is an advocate for the client and for design. He recognizes that the best solutions are those that fully exploit the possibilities of design in service to the client’s requirements. David understands the value of the big idea that guides even the small decisions on sophisticated projects for smart and demanding clients. As a result he consistently leads the project team, which includes clients, architects, interior designers, consultants, and contractors to achieve facilities that set the benchmarks for the entire profession.
As part of the agile team at GLP, David is equally adept at managing the process as he is at finding the creative solution to the design of environments that range from corporations and law firms to private residences. His design talents have also helped to shape furniture collections for Knoll Studio’s Lee Lounge Collection, FCI, and the Holly Hunt Indigo Collection. David received his Bachelor of Science from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Arizona State University.
“Working with people you admire, respect and trust, allows you to do your very best. It makes a real difference. And that’s what we bring to our clients.''
With more than 25 years of financial management and administrative experience in the design industry, Leann is the principal in charge of the firm’s finance and administration. She is responsible for assuring the realization of profit objectives and long-term financial stability for GLP. Her greatest success lies in her ability to integrate project management, financial management, information technology, and administration in a manner that not only benefits the firm but also significantly impacts individual projects. Prior to joining GLP in 1994, Leann was a financial manager at the national design firm ISD.
In addition to her work as a financial professional, Leann co-founded a non-profit organization, Almost Home Kids, which provides a continuum of care for children dependent upon medical technology. As a result of her experience caring for a son with special healthcare needs, Leann felt that there was an unmet need in the community for such an organization. Almost Home Kids receives on-going support from Ronald McDonald House Charities and currently serves as a model for care throughout the country.
Leann’s education includes the Academy of Merchandising NS Design in Chicago and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Boston. Leann remains actively involved in community projects and has won several awards for her contributions, including her election as a “Local Hero'' by the American Red Cross in 2004 and winner of the Community Impact Award in Chicago.
An architect for three decades, Tim oversees quality assurance and technical coordination on all GLP projects. His profound knowledge of building infrastructures and systems, competency, and project execution make him an invaluable resource for clients, co-workers, and consultants. Tim’s recent clients include BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, GTCR, Winston & Strawn, The Boston Consulting Group, and Baker & Daniels.
Prior to joining GLP, Tim worked as an architect at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Murphy/Jahn, ISD, ISI, Torchia Associates, and VOA Associates.
Tim graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and is a registered architect in Illinois.
With a firm belief that the spaces we live and work in greatly influence our lives, Donna has designed residential spaces, workplaces, and furniture lines that have supported and influenced culture, quality of life, and lifestyles over the last two decades.
As the leader of GLP’s residential studio, Donna oversees our work with the developers, condominium associations, and private owners. Her notable residential work includes the 6 N. Michigan Avenue sales center and model units, the Lake County Manor, the Ambassador conversion, and various residences in the Palmolive Building. Donna is also a lead designer on many workplace projects, including Madison Dearborn Partners and Winston & Strawn, and furniture design teams for Knoll, Halcon, and TG Couture.
Many of her projects have won awards, including the American Institute of Architects Chicago Design Excellence Awards for Amerin Guaranty Corp and the NeoCon Gold Award for “Best New Product'' for the Gianni collection. Prior to joining GLP in 1993, Donna worked as a designer for ISD, ISI, and VOA Associates.
Donna is a graduate of Wayne State University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design and is a registered Interior Designer in the State of Illinois.
Melissa is a firm believer that thoughtful and creative design can improve our daily lives in subtle ways. She has shown this with her experience in the hospitality sector, where she developed conceptual ideas for football stadium expansions and entertainment lounges. Her professional pursuits within interior design began in Kansas City, Missouri, where she worked for Populous and HOK (formerly 360 Architects). She brings to Gary Lee Partners a keen eye for detail and a strong sense of what makes an interior concept shine.
Melissa earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental Interior Design from the University of Kansas, where she graduated with the highest distinction.
Katie’s approach to design is informed in large part by the initial strategic conversation, where designers and clients interface to determine the space’s goals and challenges. Her belief that the most successful projects are the products of good communication from the start guides all her design decisions. This philosophy gives her the confidence to know that the final product will be the true realization of the client’s vision. She is very passionate about design and understands that the role of a designer is to marry functional and visual problem solving to imagine and ultimately deliver creative solutions.
Before joining Gary Lee Partners, Katie enjoyed several interior design co-ops nationwide while earning her degree in Interior Design from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.
Heidi believes that collaboration among the client, design team, and consultants yields the most inspired design solutions. She values the entire design process, approaching each project with energy and creativity—developing a concept that is reinforced throughout the project process, from initial sketches through construction.
Heidi joined Gary Lee Partners following internships with Booth Hansen and Arcturis, where she worked on hospitality, retail, education, civic, and residential projects. Select clients include 1100 North State Retail and Restaurant, a private country club summer house on Chicago’s North Shore, and the World Chess Club Museum & Hall of Fame in St. Louis.
Heidi is a registered Architect in Illinois. She earned her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Ball State University.
Anne is a motivated and driven designer who provides thoughtful and fresh perspectives. She strives to create meaningful environments by keeping the big picture in mind, while paying attention to the small details.
Prior to joining GLP, Anne received her Master’s degree in Architecture with an emphasis in Interior Architecture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has designed many public art installation exhibits in Chicago as well as in Japan, where she studied abroad.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of California at Santa Barbara and completed an architectural internship at Street Dixon Rick, Architecture in Nashville, Tennessee.
Heidi designs spaces that are centered around how people interact with their environment. She believes a successful design responds to how people use the space while simultaneously maintaining high-quality asthetics. She is passionate about improving the quality of the environment in which her clients work or live.
Heidi's has interned at the Planning Department at the University of Illinois, as well as the Design and Construction Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In these positions she analyzed space utilization, updated floor plans, and organized archived drawings.
She earned her Master of Architecture with an emphasis in Interior Architecture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has participated in study abroad programs in France at the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles and Japan.
Chloe’s attention to detail and dedication throughout the design process are recognized on all of her projects. She works on projects at various stages, addressing all details, and ensuring that all of the client’s needs are met.
Prior to joining GLP, Chloe worked on projects at Kara Mann Design and Holly Hunt. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute.
Chloe graduated from Miami University of Ohio and received a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design (emphasis on interdisciplinary, collaborative experience, and design studio) with a concentration in entrepreneurship. While at Miami University, Chloe also studied at the Interior Design Department based in Florence, Italy.
Chantal brings a unique perception of design and an exceptional attention to detail to each of her projects. Her expertise can be seen in her use of cutting edge design. She creates thoughtful, innovative solutions for her clients that are aimed to improve their quality of life.
Chantal is well versed in all aspects of the design process, but her true passion involves the documentation phase of each project—putting the puzzle pieces together as she works with the team to develop construction documents and details.
A graduate of Arizona State University, Chantal earned her Bachelor’s degree in Design. She also possesses a NCIDQ Certificate. As a young design professional, Chantal has received numerous awards including an IIDA SW Pride Award for Product Design (2005), IIDA SW Pride Award for Team Design Project (2005), and an IIDA SW Pride Award for Individual Project (2004). She served as an IIDA Board Member for Habitat for Humanity from 2003-2005 and participated in the ASID Mentoring Program.
Hayley brings her bright, thoughtful attitude to Gary Lee Partners, creating beautiful spaces that enhance quality of life and work efficiency for their inhabitants. She adapts her vision to the needs, character and style of each client, using her resourcefulness and collaborative spirit. Hayley designs using everything from the latest technology to hand sketches offering clients responsiveness, quality and value.
Prior to joining the team at Gary Lee Partners, Hayley served as Design Associate at Niedermaier Chicago, and interned for both Donghia New York and BHDP Architecture Cincinnati. She donated her time to design the Defeat ALS sunflower symbol for the ALS Association, raising awareness of their ongoing efforts to eliminate Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Hayley graduated with departmental honors from Miami University in Ohio, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design.
Cassie’s passion revolves around communicating design concepts to non-designers. She takes the time to explain her ideas to clients who may not come from a design background, making sure that they understand the functionality and aesthetics behind the concepts. Her corporate design experience reflects her expertise in taking an understated quality about a company’s brand and incorporating it into the overall design.
Cassie has worked for Scripps Networks, Knoxville, Tennessee, which encompasses HGTV and DIY Network, as a design ambassador. She spent time with TV personality Vern Yip learning about designing for television and teaching design to non-designers. She also shadowed a production company during the filming of an episode of Color Splash Miami. Cassie has also worked as a design intern for Eckenhoff Saunders Architects and HOK Chicago.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from the University of Cincinnati and participated in a study abroad program at the Danish Institute in Copenhagen.
Katie believes that inspiring people with the space around them is the most rewarding aspect of design. By allowing people to engage with their surroundings, designers ultimately promote meaningful social interaction and communication. In order to create truly inspiring spaces, Katie recommends keeping your eyes open to unexpected opportunities and perspectives.
Before joining Gary Lee Partners, Katie had worked as an intern at Gensler’s San Francisco office and in the Chicago office of Kadlec Architecture + Design. Katie also worked as a design assistant at MKG NYC, a well-known experiential marketing agency, where she helped promote various brands and ideas in innovative, exciting ways. This experience gave her a unique outlook on the possibilities of spatial design.
Katie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from the University of Cincinnati and was selected to participate in an architectural tour of Europe for one semester.
The best designs, in Todd’s opinion, are accomplished when the needs of a client are filtered through an expert designer, producing a space that is not only functional but visually stimulating. He imbues his work with a strong sense of character and a clarity that is seen and felt within the space, bringing it to life while maintaining the integrity of its function.
Prior to joining the design team at Gary Lee Partners, Todd was intern for the firm, as well as the Scalamandre showroom in Chicago. He graduated from Harrington College of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design.
Meahgan’s ability to leverage her past experiences with hospitality and residential design allows her to execute projects in an efficient manner. Her sincere passion and drive to create beautiful, functional spaces is a direct reflection of the inspiration she finds in the architecture, diversity, and rich artistic community in her hometown of Chicago. She believes that interior design has great potential to alter individuals' health, experiences, and work habits and incorporates this approach into her design for each project.
Prior to joining the team at Gary Lee Partners, Meahgan served as a Junior Designer at Suzan Hadaway Design, and interned at the Chicago office of Looney & Associates. She spent time at Purdue University, before completing her Interior Architecture degree from Columbia College Chicago. She is active in volunteering her time on ASID Illinois’ Emerging Professionals Committee and volunteers for Chicago’s French Bulldog Rescue.
Drawing on his multicultural upbringing and education, Dan handles the written content and strategy in Gary Lee Partners’ Marketing department. GLP’s philosophy and time-honed practice involves understanding a client’s vision and then translating it into extraordinary work. With his belief in elegant, clean and subtle writing, Dan determines how to best articulate that philosophy.
His experience in the design industry began at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Chicago office, where he worked as a project administrator on numerous projects all over the world. Prior to joining SOM, he cut his teeth in sales at Careerbuilder, where he learned to understand business processes and customer service. His love of language and high respect for GLP’s magnificent work ensure that the firm’s ethos remains consistent.
Dan is of Costa Rican and Swiss descent and earned his Bachelors Degree in English from Northwestern University in 2006. In addition to writing, he enjoys long-distance running, music composition and skiing.
Skilled in leadership and communication, Katey brings her gift for delegation to Gary Lee Partners. As head of the procurement department, she oversees furniture orders as well as managing furniture vendor and client relations for GLP’s residential and hospitality groups. Blending her background in textiles and efficient organization, she is an asset to the firm.
Katey retains a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In her spare time she enjoys creating fiber art pieces.
Mary Cate enjoys finding creative solutions to every challenge. She brings to Gary Lee Partners’ procurement department a close attention to detail and a dedication to client service. As the firm’s procurement services coordinator, she works on expediting furniture, creating furniture orders, and overseeing installations for residential and hospitality clients.
Outside the office, this proud Spider from the University of Richmond enjoys sewing and upholstery projects, and volunteers for the OPRF Infant Welfare Society, where she is a member and event chair.
Dan holds that successful design is intuitive, functional, and elegant, acting as both a reflection and a definition of the user’s personality. Forward-thinking but always mindful of tradition, Dan delivers thoughtfully designed, well engineered custom furniture. In his role as Furniture Design Director at Gary Lee Partners, Dan collaborates with project designers, vendors, and clients to assure the design credibility of each piece is maintained while solving the client’s problems and satisfying their functional needs.
Before joining the team at GLP, Dan served as Technical Director for Pierre-Yves Rochon, and Project Manager and Designer for Holly Hunt – both in Chicago. He retains a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Travis’ approach to furniture design is rooted in the Bauhaus style, where fine arts and crafts meet functional design. Having studied industrial design at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) under such renowned figures as Felicia Ferrone, Ted Burdett, Craighton Berman, and TJ O’Keefe, he seeks to apply art and sophistication to an otherwise technical field.
Outside the office, Travis complements his artistic pursuits through painting, an activity he has cultivated since childhood. He was also instrumental in the design of the Beton Coffee Vessel, which was successfully funded via Kickstarter in 2015.
Carey Lennox joined Gary Lee Partners after twenty years at renowned furniture giant Holly Hunt, where she thrived across many roles, often working directly with the founder. She brings to Chai Ming Studios an incredible breadth of experience across disciplines, from accounting and operations to marketing and public relations outreach efforts. Her focus on creating lasting partnerships, along with her tenacity and industry experience, have been indispensable assets for the management and health of Gary Lee Partners’ custom furniture enterprise.
Carey graduated Cum Laude from Middlebury College and is involved in various community organizations throughout Chicago. Prior to starting her career at Holly Hunt, she worked in musical agencies in New York and Verona, where she immersed herself in the world of classical music and opera.
Lisa brings to Gary Lee Partners 23 years of accounting, administrative and business management experience. Her familiarity with the design industry, versatile skill set, and strong work ethic allow her to successfully direct multiple components of the firm’s business tasks. In addition to managing GLP’s administrative and financial departments, she oversees the development and operations of Chai Ming Studios and Atelier Gary Lee.
Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Loyola University Chicago.
April serves as GLP's Manager of Administration + Project Accounting. Prior to joining GLP, she worked as a receptionist for Booth Hansen & Associates and IEG. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Theatre Performance from Indiana University, South Bend.
April is passionate about theater and has been involved in dramatic and comedic acting for several years. She is active in the theater community in Chicago and can be seen performing in plays around the city.